The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) form HA-4608 is a waiver that is required for those who request an appeal on a Social Security Disability (SSD) determination but cannot appear in person at an appeal hearing.
The actual title of form HA-408 is “Waiver of Your Right to Person Appearance before an Administrative Law Judge ”, and is only required for applicants that are unable to attend their SSD appeal hearing in person.
The appeal hearing provides a chance to present your case before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to formally review the SSA’s decision on your eligibility to receive benefits. It is an opportunity to explain to the ALJ how your disability prevents you from maintaining gainful employment.
There are some circumstances that may prevent you from being present at the appeal. If this is the case, you can still have your claim reviewed by an ALJ and a determination made based on the evidence in your claim.
If you are unable to attend, you can have an advocate or Social Security attorney represent you instead. You can also prepare a written statement to be entered into hearing documentation. The ALJ will take this statement into consideration when he or she makes the decision on your eligibility to receive SSD benefits.
Why Form HA-4608 is Important
The HA-4608 form is very important if you cannot attend your appeal hearing. If you fail to fill out the form and turn it in before your appeal hearing date, the judge can dismiss your claim based on your failure to appear. This means that your disability case will be closed and will prevent you from continuing to pursue disability benefits.
How to Complete Form HA-4608
Unless you’re physically incapable of attending or have been advised by your Social Security attorney not to appear before the ALJ, you should make every effort to attend your appeal hearing. It is your best opportunity to present your claim and make an argument for SSD eligibility. However, if you are not able to be there, you will need to fill out form HA-4608.
The form requests basic personal information including your name, Social Security Number and the name of the “wage earner” under whose work history you’ve applied for benefits. If you’ve applied under your own work credits, then you leave the “wage earner” section of the form blank. If however, you’ve applied for SSD under your spouse’s or a parent’s work history for instance, then you must list that individual on the form as well.
The only other information required on the HA-4608 form is an explanation as to why you are unable to attend the SSD appeal hearing. You will need to present a strong argument justifying your absence. It is advisable that you seek assistance from a Social Security advocate or attorney to help you complete form HA-4608 and to also represent you at your appeal hearing.